Skip to main content

Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

See other formats

Italy and of two of the African nations in Table 3, and it reinforces our earlier impression that there are important cultural differences in the way in which the means and ends of family planning are viewed.
With respect to the general public then, we emerge with several conclusions:
1.  There is no relation between a nation's growth and a people's concern about that growth. In 1965 the African and Latin American urban populations sampled were largely unconvinced that their nations were growing too large, and most other nations sampled were more concerned about world growth than about the growth of their own nations.
2.  In most countries the means (birth control) are less controversial than the ends, insofar as restraint on population growth is considered a major end of birth control. Latin Americans tend to typify the pro-natalist, pro-family-planning position.
3.  Countries most committed both to family planning and to the notion of excessive national growth were, with the exception of Great Britain, Asiatic nations which have had substantial public family planning programs. Which is cause and which effect is not clear, but it is not unlikely that national public information programs giving attention to both means and ends have had considerable influence in these countries.
So far we have been dealing with the poll returns as if the opinions of all individuals in a national sample are equal. For purposes of influence on national policy, however, they are not. Unfortunately, most KAP surveys are either confined to lower income classes, or contain so few upper income persons that independent analysis of them is not feasible. In the USIA surveys substantial numbers of upper-class respondents were included, but tabulations were done only for Latin America. Table 5 shows that the classes with the lowest fertility are generally the least favorable to the notion of a family planning program for the nation.
Polls taken in the United States show a contrary tendency. Respondents with more than a high school education are markedly more in favor of the government's participation in family planning programs than those with a grade school education. Among high-school-educated Catholics, however, "there may be a tendency to become less liberal as income increases above $7,000" (8).
Latin American Elites
In Latin America, several recent studies have been specifically directed at elite groups. In Bolivia, 97 men and women from law, government, the mili-lanning and more in favor of national growth include two Latin American, two African, and two Asian states (Table 3).